Snow practice, not no practice!
Practice has been a little difficult over the last few weeks thanks to the wonderful British weather but I haven't let the snow completely stop me!
Here is a brief update on what I've been working on:
I played a round about 3 weeks ago where I was able to hit my drives consistently solid which is a bit unusual for me. In a typical round I do hit the best drives I can hit but there is often the sprinkle of drives where I sky the ball like a rocket launch and it doesn't go very far!
As always, what works for me isn't going to suit everyone and it may not even work for me in a few weeks time...
The main thing I have been working on is really going back to basics. I am controlling my takeaway by going out wide, slowing down the swing and not going back as far as I normally would.
Over time I am gradually making my backswing longer and faster but ensuring I still have the same level of control as I do for my shorter backswings.
All golfers emphasise the importance of a good short game.
Last weekend I spent a long time doing some on-course chipping practice with my 8/9 iron. The main things I was practising were as follows:
1. Ball back in stance - this is important in order to get more roll on the shot. I play the ball back in my stance in line with the inside of my right foot.
2. Maintain the arm triangle - I've been working at ensuring that there is little or no wrist hinge in the shot, so that the initial setup position triangle is maintained throughout the shot. I think of the stroke itself as a putting stroke so that my arms go straight back and straight through.
3. Quiet body and sweep the grass - sometimes I find it is hard to commit to a shot properly when you have to keep your body slower and quieter. However, when I'm chipping I really do need to let the club head do the work, have very little movement in my lower body and commit to the shot so that my arms swing through and sweep the grass. A little weight on the left side assists the club in sweeping the grass.
One of my favourite drills for any shot to get my arms working is to stand with my feet together like this:
There are no good weather excuses for not chipping. This was me in my back garden - the snow meant I didn't hack away at the grass like I normally do!
I'm hoping to play some very exciting courses over the next few weeks (depending on the weather!) so I'll report back on those soon.